The mission of this article is to make our in-house experts sizzle and bristle over the hot-button issues that face dynasty owners. Our experts make the entire route tree HOT as they address topics from the world of IDP, Devy, Start/sit, Non-PPR, PPR and everything in between. Try not to get burned by all the fiery YAC below! This is Dynasty Hot Routes!
Is Robert Woods for real?
Joshua Johnson – I want to see how Minnesota HC Mike Zimmer addresses Woods this Sunday. If Xavier Rhodes is on Woods the majority of the time that could be bad. Going forward teams may choose to make Sammy Watkins beat them by placing their top cornerback on Woods. Not every team has a corner that can be shut down, but you get the idea. Unlike when Woods and Watkins were in Buffalo Woods is demanding legitimate attention and possibly a coverage blanket. Woods has 59 targets to Watkins’ 34. Watkins is the stunner/burner/deep threat, but the PPR world beckons for Woods. The tough matchup this week may lower his price. His fantasy playoff schedule is very attractive with games versus Philadelphia, at Seattle and at Tennessee. Woods a very tradable asset to contending teams. He is for real, and his current situation is trill!
John Orr – Robert Woods showed glimpses in Buffalo but, they could never really put a competent offense together. In the right system, he has emerged and is delivering. I believe it takes all positions a little time to develop. Learning a new offense (again) takes time. It’s looked like he has taken on the job of the top WR on the team. He can take it vertical and play the short game well. I’m not expecting these monster games weekly. I do expect he will continue to show well on the stat sheet. Robert Woods is REAL!
John Hogue – We’re about to find out! Woods’ breakout performance against Houston was a revelation, but fantasy owners likely won’t get the chance to enjoy it, because the Rams’ next three opponents are all proficient at shutting down number one receivers. We’ll find out if opposing defenses fear Woods or Sammy Watkins more by the end of this three-game stretch at Minnesota, versus New Orleans, and at Arizona.
If Woods is the true number one, he’ll see shadow coverage from three of the best cornerbacks in the game: Xavier Rhodes, Marshon Lattimore and Patrick Petersen. If he has surpassed Sammy Watkins, we’ll know from his poor performances the next three weeks. I think Woods will see better coverage than Watkins in all three games, and he’ll prove that he is for real for fantasy purposes, even if opposing defensive coordinators still worry about Watkins more than Woods.
Shaun Laibe – After his 8 receptions for 171 yards and 2 TDs against Houston, it is becoming harder to argue against Robert Woods being the real deal. Perhaps Woods’ greatest accomplishment has been developing a repertoire with Jared Goff… something Sammy Watkins owners have been dreaming of all season long. As Goff continues to thrive, Woods too shall maintain his place as a force in the fantasy realm.
Pete Lawrence – I believe more in Sean McVay and Jared Goff than I do in Robert Woods suddenly being elite. He showed flashes in Buffalo and in the new potent Rams offense. In the past two weeks, Woods has feasted on the Giants putrid secondary and a Texans team that has been collapsing.
PPR leagues have Woods as the WR15. If we look at the top 24 WRs and targets, Woods is currently tied with Tyreek Hill at 21-22 with only 59 targets on the year. Nearly half of Woods fantasy production has come through the last two weeks, but in the three weeks before this outburst, he posted three straight weeks of double-digit points. Woods likely won’t continue with this streak as a WR1, but he should be good for solid WR2 numbers for rest of season.
How are you valuing Dak Prescott now that he is minus Ezekiel Elliott?
Joshua Johnson – Well hopefully he will get his full offensive line back and healthy soon. That will work wonders for their scheme even minus their superstar RB. I do expect Dallas to change their game plan drastically to get more quick hitting passes. That will keep the offense charged and ready as well as keep Dak’s confidence high.
I genuinely think no matter how successful the Cowboys are without Zeke, that it will help Dak grow as a player. His trade value is certainly limited at this time. If are in rebuilding mode I try and trade for Prescott while his price a little depressed. If I were out of the playoff picture, I would gladly give up a Drew Brees or Matthew Stafford for Dak’s services.
John Orr – I feel like when he has himself a run game and elite line play, he’s just like most would be, playing great. With no run game, an average line, he’s driving with one eye open on a dark and rainy night with one eye open. The challenge will be, can he rise up and carry a franchise on his back? It will take time and WILL take some time. I’m a believer, and I am holding him in all my two QB leagues.
His legs will help bail him out of trouble and salvage some points in Fantasy. Still shaking my head on the 7 sacks. Young talent is priceless at that position. For the duration of this season, walking on ice my friends. Slippery footing ahead. If he survives the Eagles game, I’ll breath easier for the next few games.
John Hogue – This one is also “to be determined,” because Dak’s dreadful day against Atlanta probably had more to do with the absence of left tackle Tyron Smith than the absence of Elliott. So I don’t believe the drubbing at the hands of the Dirty Birds is indicative of life without Zeke… necessarily. Don’t let anyone tell you that Prescott will be better off without Elliott because the offense lives by the passing game now; losing a key component to the offense hurts the entire offense.
We’ll need to adjust our expectations. But Dak is one of the best young quarterbacks in the league and – let’s be honest about this – the position is horrible this season. He remains a must-start due to lack of viable options, and he still has QB1 upside in a given week. For the time being, he doesn’t move at all in my dynasty rankings (where he is top 5) and will drop to the middle of the top 12 pack in redraft.
Shaun Laibe – Without Zeke, Dak Prescott and the Cowboy’s offense will undoubtedly get knocked down a peg. More importantly, the loss of left tackle Tyron Smith leaves this team in utter shambles. Without Smith in Week 10, Prescott was sacked a total of 8 times. If Smith cannot go against Philadelphia, expect Dak you be running for his life yet again. That scenario does not bode well for his fantasy output.
Pete Lawrence – I’m more worried about the health of Tyron Smith and when he gets back on the field. It’s obviously a big difference going from Zeke to Alfred Morris or Rod Smith. Dak was feeling the pressure without his all-world LT, and it seemed like the Cowboys had no answer for Adrian Clayborn. I’m not worried about Dak. Having Zeke suspended and an injured Dez Bryant isn’t great for his fantasy outlook, but things will improve. Look for him to drop from that top five fantasy spot down to a high-end QB2 for the next few weeks.
Who is currently the ultimate pretender on any of your rosters?
John Orr – Biggest pretender I can think of, Tyrod Taylor. Teases with some nice plays with his legs but can’t move the ball once his run game is gone. Will not be a key fantasy player for any playoff teams in fantasy. Adding WR help was needed, but Tyrod Taylor was not able to make a connection. Just not capable of being consistent. If he’s kept in the pocket and forced to use his arm, it will work against him.
John Hogue – Russell Wilson. Kidding! I’m only kidding! As if I would have Wilson on any of my rosters. I mean, could you imagine!? I do have an extensive list of fantasy pretenders though, from Randall Cobb to Derrick Henry to Drew Brees.
But the biggest pretender has to be Mike Evans, and I’m hoping that writing this will serve as an intervention. I’m sure it won’t; I’m already planning on blindly starting him in Week 11, because “he just got a week off to rest and recharge,” and “Winston was horrible, but Fitzpatrick… sorry, FitzMAGIC is the answer,” and “blah, blah, touchdown regression, blah.” Here’s the reality, he’s WR22.
Evans is fractions of a point better than Michael Crabtree, who missed all of one game and most of another due to injury. Evans is also barely scoring more than Demaryius Thomas, who has been catching passes from Trevor Siemian and Brock Osweiler, and who went over a year without catching a touchdown pass.
Evans is way too touchdown-dependent for a guy who has only scored four touchdowns, and he gets shut down by good cornerbacks way too often for an “elite” wide receiver. I think he’s going to be fine going forward as the schedule softens, but it will be important in the stretch run, and the playoffs that fantasy owners (myself included) think about Evans as a game-to-game proposition, rather than rubber stamp start him every week, because he currently is not a WR1, though we still pretend he is.
Shaun Laibe – The biggest pretender on my rosters is Kenyan Drake. Drake has thrown up some big fantasy points since the departure of Jay Ajayi, but I’m here to break your hearts because it most certainly will not last. The lazy analysis of Drake shows games of 69 and 82 yards rushing with a TD. A deeper dive into the statistics reveal that 72% of those yards came in just 2 long runs. While big plays are great for instant fantasy points, they are not indicative of future success. Tread lightly when inserting Drake into your lineups.
Pete Lawrence – At this point in the season, with all the injuries, I’d like to have pretenders on some of my rosters! How about the swamp of brown water that is the TE position? Austin Seferian-Jenkins finally broke 50 yards receiving this last week. Most of his production this season has been coming through touchdowns. Cameron Brate posted a 1 reception 9 receiving yard stat line in Week 9, and then followed that up with a 1 reception 10 receiving yards line in Week 10. In standard leagues, I’d say Chris Thompson, but with Rob Kelley lost to injury, maybe he finally starts getting more touches.